Alton Man Pleads Guilty in Check Kiting Scheme
Case Involved 208 Cross-Deposited Checks Totaling More Than $2,000,000
|U.S. Attorney’s Office July 17, 2012|
Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that Jody D. Markel, age 45, of Alton, Illinois, entered a plea of guilty in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois in East St. Louis, Illinois, on July 16, 2012, to a one-count information charging that Markel committed bank fraud by engaging in a “check kiting” scheme.
Markel admitted that while he was serving as president of two companies, Topflight Logistics Inc. and TFV Trucking LLC, he engaged in a check kiting scheme through which he cross-deposited 208 checks between accounts for each company. Check kiting occurs when a series of checks are drafted and deposited between bank accounts for the purpose of artificially inflating account balances. Because of delays inherent in the banking system, a check kiting scheme takes advantage of the “float time” between the time when a bank receives and credits a check for deposit and the time when that check is fully processed. Markel admitted that he was responsible for managing the financial records of both Topflight Logistics and TFV Trucking when he cross-deposited the 208 checks totaling $2,186,214.75. The scheme resulted in a total loss of $212,423.14 to the two financial institutions involved.
At his sentencing hearing, set for November 2, 2012, in East St. Louis, Markel faces up to 30 years in prison, a fine of up to $1,000,000, up to five years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.
This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Katherine L. Lewis.